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Near-Rationality and Inflation in Two Monetary Regimes

  • Laurence Ball

Sticky-price models with rational expectations fail to capture the inertia in US inflation Models with backward-looking expectations capture current inflation behavior but are unlikely to fit other monetary regimes This paper seeks to overcome these problems with a near-rational model of expectations In the model agents make univariate forecasts of inflation: they use information on past inflation optimally but they ignore other variables The paper tests sticky-price models with near-rational expectations for two periods in US history the post-1960 period of persistent inflation and the period from 1879 to 1914 when inflation was not persistent The models fit the data for both periods; in contrast both rational-expectations and backward-looking models fail for at least one period

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Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 435.

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Date of creation: Oct 2000
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Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:435
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  1. Arturo Extrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1998. "Dynamic inconsistencies: counterfactual implications of a class of rational expectations models," Working Papers 98-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Balke, Nathan S & Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 38-92, February.
  3. Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles, 1996. "The Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks: Evidence from the Flow of Funds," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 16-34, February.
  4. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
  6. John M. Roberts, 1994. "Is inflation sticky?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 152, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1995. "The [un]importance of forward-looking behavior in price specifications," Working Papers 95-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  8. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Svensson, Lars E.O. & Rudebusch , Glenn, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Seminar Papers 637, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  10. Laurence Ball, 1991. "The genesis of inflation and the costs of disinflation," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 439-461.
  11. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff Between Inflation and Unemployment," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1905, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1998. "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semi-Classical Structural Model," NBER Working Papers 6599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. John H. Cochrane, 1988. "The Sensitivity of Tests of the Intertemporal Allocation of Consumption to Near-Rational Alternatives," NBER Working Papers 2730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Robert J. Gordon, 1980. "A Consistent Characterization of a Near-Century of Price Behavior," NBER Working Papers 0455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Alogoskoufis, George S & Smith, Ron, 1991. "The Phillips Curve, the Persistence of Inflation, and the Lucas Critique: Evidence from Exchange-Rate Regimes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1254-75, December.
  16. Robert B. Barsky, 1986. "The Fisher Hypothesis and the Forecastability and Persistence of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 1927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. McCallum, Bennett T, 1976. "Rational Expectations and the Natural Rate Hypothesis: Some Consistent Estimates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(1), pages 43-52, January.
  18. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1998. "The new neoclassical synthesis and the role of monetary policy," Working Paper 98-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  19. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Beyond the Natural Rate Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 182-87, May.
  20. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  21. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  22. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-20, September.
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